Glass fibre sensors are an innovative way to make civil infrastructure such as bridges safer and industrial assets such as wind turbines and oil and gas installations more efficient.Karsten Verhaegen, CEO of Sentea
Sentea’s photonic integrated technology enables the large-scale application of glass fibre sensors. For bridges, buildings, wind turbines, motors, bearings, drivelines, electric vehicles and surgical instruments, the readout system from the spin-off of imec and UGent will make it easier to predict defects in installations and extend their lifetime.
Glass fibre sensors are an innovative way to make civil infrastructure such as bridges safer and industrial ‘assets’ such as wind turbines and oil and gas installations more efficient. They use a special glass fibre designed to measure strain and temperature at multiple points. A readout system captures the optical signal from the measuring fibre and correlates it with strain, temperature and derived parameters such as vibration, pressure, inclination, displacement, current or the presence of certain chemicals. Glass fibre sensors are resistant to electromagnetic interference, corrosion, lightning strikes and extreme temperatures, allowing them to be used in applications subject to extreme conditions. They are also safer than traditional sensors in explosion-hazard applications such as in oil and gas installations.
To develop their readout system, spin-off Sentea built on the world-renowned expertise of UGent and imec in silicon photonics and nanoelectronics. With Sentea’s readout systems, fibre-optic sensors can now be used in a much wider range of applications, enabling bridges, buildings, wind turbines, motors, bearings, drivelines, electric vehicles, surgical instruments, etc. to benefit from the advantages of highly accurate defect detection and prediction, lifetime extension and superior process control. Thanks to the advantages of silicon photonics, Sentea offers readout systems for glass fibre sensors with high accuracy, compactness and advanced functionality that can be used in many fields. Continuous monitoring of structural integrity can thus become the standard for both new and aging infrastructure.
Partners in ambition at Sentea
Sentea raised €2.3 million in 2021 to further expand its operations. The investment round is backed by current investors Finindus, PMV, QBIC II and Fidimec.
The proceeds of this investment round will fund the growth of Sentea’s commercial activities and scale up the production capacity of its range of FBG interrogation systems. Sentea will continue to invest in next-gen fibre optic sensing products and IoT developments, leveraging the advantages of its advanced silicon photonics platform optimised for sensing applications.